Brexit – where are we now?

November 21, 2018 4:21 pm

The deal that Theresa May wants and the consequences of the UK leaving without any deal on the 29th March 2019 both have a profound impact on trade.

The key component of May’s plan is the inclusion of a 21-month transition period, during which the current trading rules will essentially remain the same, until December 2020.

During that period, discussions will continue to determine a trade agreement and the new “close future relationship”.

However, if the EU and UK fail to reach agreement by December 2020 (actually due to be competed by the July) the “backstop” plan would be initiated on the 1st January, 2021 and, as it currently stands, the EU and UK would become a single customs territory.

If the current EU/UK 585 page plan fails to pass parliament or acceptance by the EU leaders, the threat of a no-deal Brexit will become a very real possibility.

“Unsworth’s inter-modal and short-term storage solutions are the optimum way to avoid the impacts of Brexit”

Road trailers and other goods vehicles traveling between the UK and Europe, regardless of where the hauliers were registered, would require permits to access either market, but licences issued by the UK would not be accepted by the EU; at least initially.

A suggested short-term fix might be for hauliers to use European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permits. These multilateral permits are restrictive as they make cross-trade possible, but not cabotage.

And there are also restrictions on the number of trips that can be performed with a permit, plus a limit to the number of permits issued per country which, for the UK, is just 1,224 per year. Which is a tiny percentage of the 7,000 trucks that arrive or depart the UK every day for Europe.

What can you do

The likelihood of major disruption to trade after Brexit has seen shippers boosting inventories, to create buffer stock, in preparation for lengthier customs clearance and inevitable transport delays.

We have seen a significant upturn in inquiries from importers seeking flexible warehousing space, to hold increased inventory levels, in case of supply chain disruption.

As uncertainty over Brexit continues we anticipate that the availability of short-term storage will get very limited and would encourage you to take action now to secure your space.

Unsworth’s inter-modal solutions provide a wide selection of route, transits and modes across Europe. They are the optimum method for high-volume road transport shippers to avoid the impacts of Brexit, and potentially benefit from lower supply chain costs.

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